March 5, 2013 / 7:46 AM / 5 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Paddy Power profits up 14 pct on online growth

* EBIT 136 mln eur vs analyst forecast of 138.5 mln

* Has captured 27 pct of mobile sports betting market

* Exchange rates could cut 2013 op profit by 10 mln eur

DUBLIN, March 5 (Reuters) - Irish bookmaker Paddy Power reported a 14 percent rise in full-year operating profit last year as its online services drew more punters from shops to screens.

A 31 percent rise in full-year revenue pushed operating profit to 136 million euros from 119.5 million a year ago, slightly less that the 138.5 million forecast by eight analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Dublin-based group, whose operating profit rose by 25 percent in a first half of the year that included the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, said it has now captured over a quarter of the fast-growing mobile sports betting market, around double its share of the total online market.

“Mobile has been very, very good for us in the last year. Our net revenue in mobile is up 185 percent to 129 million, it’s now 32 percent of our online revenue,” chief financial officer Cormac McCarthy told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“Month to month, we’re seeing mobile as being stronger and stronger and that’s thematic for the business.”

On a constant currency basis, the rise in operating profit was just six percent and the group warned that a continuation of current sterling and Australian dollar rates could reduce operating profit by around 10 million euros this year.

Paddy Power, which has entered betting markets in Australia, France, Canada and most recently Italy, said trading since the end of last year had benefited from favourable sports results with revenues up 19 percent.

That mirrored British rival William Hill, which saw revenue rise by 20 percent in the first two months on favourable results as it paid 424 million pounds ($643 million) for full control of its online business.

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